Thursday, November 20, 2008

Un(sarto)real


I recently traveled through Asia. It has become somewhat common knowledge that knock-offs are easy to come by there. This is true, but their quality is often suspect, and many of us have made fun of "Roleks" or "louis Buitton" if you know what I mean. Anyways, Asia also heralds some of the best tailors in the world. And though you can get "Hugo Boss" stitched into whatever it is you're getting made, I would not consider their craftmanship second rate. In fact, in my experience even the cheapest tailors in Asia rival the large "businesswear" establishments in North America.

When in Vietnam, I was in a town called Hoi An. Simple put, it was beautiful, a shining beacon in a country rought with a terrible history. The town has become famous for the number of tailors it boasts. Perhaps not as well-established is the number of cobblers. As with the suit cuts you can get that copy Canali or Armani etc. one can get shoes that are knock offs of Air Force One's (a personal favorite) etc.

Unlike the suits, however, the shoes are a little ghetto. The materials are just not up to par with real versions. The advantage of the fake tailored shoes, of course, is that they are fully customizable. The gap has been bridged and Nike has seen the light. New York's Soho distric boasts the NikeiD Bespoke 21 Mercer store, where 31 parts of the iconic Air Force one are fully customizable. Sick.

Check it: (click the pictures)